Previously: Alec becomes the new head of the Institute, and Seelie Kaelie apparently stages a string of Shadowhunter murders to look like the start of a Downworld uprising.
In the wake of Kaelie's killing spree, the Seelie Queen agrees to meet with "Valentine's experiments", who are tasked with figuring out the queen's possible involvement in the attacks. This being a super important diplomatic mission, guess which clinger-on decides to tags along? So Jace, Clary, and Simon are off to the Seelie Court, where they learn Kaelie had a collaborator that the Seelie Queen 'took care of', and the kiss that Clary most desires is from JAAAAAACE.
Back at the Institute, Alec has implemented weekly cabinet meetings with Downworld leaders in an effort to improve fractured relations with their factions. Although he reluctantly participates on behalf of the wolves, Luke's still not enthused about the leniency that the Clave has shown towards Valentine. Like, he wants his former parabatai dead, and a mysterious accomplice within the Institute wants to help him make that happen. And he very nearly does, but he's intercepted at the last minute. In the interest of preserving the peace with the Downworld right now, Alec's keeping allllllll this mess on the DL and not telling the Clave.
Also dropping by the Institute is Mama Lightwood. It's mother-daughter honesty hour, as Izzy fills Maryse in on her yin feng addiction, and Maryse tells Izzy about Robert's infidelity (which Iz already knew of).
Not so honest, however, is Sebastian, who's destroying burner phones (to coordinate inmate assassinations?) and hosting an unwilling guest in the closet. Intrigue!
• Here you go,
Meredith Clace fans:
• Should have known that something wasn't right with Sebastian when he didn't succumb to Izzy's charms, 'cause girl was looking foooooine -- and in yet another sparring scene! KEEP 'EM COMING, SHOW.
• In all seriousness, though, it was his scene with Jace that sealed it for me. Seeing how chummy Sebastian was getting with everyone-minus-Alec somehow confirmed to me that he's a diabolical mastermind. (Unrelated: this show better not give me any trust issues.)
• Sia and Bjork are Seelie musicians!
• Dammit, Izzy and Raphael! Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. (What did I say about trust issues?!?!)
• Speaking of Izzy, though -- was this a meeting between the Downworlder cabinet or her love interests? DAMN, GIRL. (LOLOLOL at how she introduced Sebastian and Raphael to each other, rather than letting them define their relationships with her themselves.)
• Luke still being salty at the Clave for banning him from attending Jocelyn's Rite of Mourning. I love it when a show has a long memory!
• Maryse trying to make amends for being a shitty person, though. Should I want to ship her and Luke? Maybe I'm going to ship her and Luke.
• OK, one last Izzy shout-out, for the all-too-brief girlfriends moment between her and Clary.
• Jace playing the piano was a highlight, but the really obvious camera angles to disguise the lack of actual playing were not.
• OF COURSE Simon invites himself to the Seelie Realm and then completely disregards the advice of the only person familiar with the place.
• Filed here since I remember being vaguely annoyed as it was happening and then very nearly forgot all about this subplot: Luke's partner, Ollie, continues to investigate our very own WolfCop.
Shadowhunter of the Week:
My GIF usage might indicate otherwise, but Jace gets top honours for proper pandering (again!).
"If I were him, I'd never leave your side either." - OK, that was pretty frickin' smooth, Jace.
"Sometimes, our angelic duty seems to overshadow everything else. We forget we're human too." - ... figuratively, Maryse? Because isn't the whole point that you're not human? (It's why y'all call us 'mundanes'?)
"You don't get to die today." "Do I know you?" - Always awkward when you don't know why someone wants you dead -- right, Valentine? Then again, there's no shortage of reasons for Sebastian to choose from.
• The Seelie Court scene is one of my two favorite scenes from The Mortal Instruments series, and I've been looking forward to seeing its live adaptation for what feels like forever. There are so many book parallels (and even some dialogue!), but there are also a few twists that adapt it to the show in a very well executed way. The stakes are higher, with Clary having to choose between Jace and Simon since it's literally life or death, which results in a really dramatic and great kiss that DOES change everything, Clary.
• The bookend scenes of Jace and Sebastian playing the piano were a great juxtaposition of moments. Also, that final scene of Sebastian was the first definite sign that he's actually a terrible person playacting as one of the good guys, and I continue to be fascinated and horrified in turn by him.
• Maryse Lightwood has returned to the Institute, and she had incredibly touching moments with Alec and Isabelle that shed a lot of light on her change of heart since we last saw her. (Her moment with Luke was somewhat ruined by his making poor life choices.)
• Could it be? Is our
national comment section nightmare finally over? Are Clary and Simon dunzo?!
• CONFIRMED: Sebastian is up to no good! But what is he up to, anyway? And who does he have hostage? Are we supposed to know who it is? Because I couldn't tell for shizz.
• One bit of weirdness about Sebastian's plan, though: he helps Luke gain access to Valentine... but then saves Valentine from being killed. To further stir up trubs among the Downworld? To force the Clave to move Valentine to a different location? What are you up to, Sebastian??!?
• Sebastian might be better at being Valentine than Valentine is -- i.e., the misguided antagonist who thinks he's the hero, like Magneto as a Shadowhunter. Agree or disagree?
Next episode: "A Problem of Memory"